Sunday, September 4, 2011

Living right now

It's Labor Day weekend - the last official weekend of summer. Jeremy and I are at home with the kids, having one last weekend of hanging around in our jams, eschewing nap schedules and sipping another glass of red wine after the kids go to bed. We watched Northwestern's first victory of the season yesterday, and Jack and I made a new chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef

·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 cup rolled oats
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1 cup brown sugar
·         1/2 cup granulated sugar
·         2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         2 eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         12 ounces block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
·         1 cup walnuts, chopped
·         Large flake sea salt, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and kosher salt.

In large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter. Using an electric beater or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until it they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla as well.

With a rubber spatula or with the stand mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.

Spoon the cookie dough by 2 tablespoon-size balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.

When the cookies come out of the oven immediately sprinkle each cookie with a few grains of sea salt. This is really important to do while the cookies are hot.

Let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

* * *

But don't let the laziness trick you: We're readying ourselves for a crazy month. I won't bore you with the details but a quick list includes my first gala benefit for Openlands, Jack's first day of preschool, business trips for Jeremy, budgeting at work, visits from family, milestone birthdays for both of our dads and a trip home to Cleveland. Oy.

I got a little worked up this afternoon just thinking about it all, so Jeremy declared we were going outside. He barely packed a thing, and I practically got hives at the prospect of leaving the house with no sippy cups, no snacks and no sun hats.

We headed to Northwestern's lake fill to soak in the sun, the views of Chicago and the waves of Lake Michigan. Being outside, I was able to let go. And it was nice to just be.

We ended Daddy's outing with an early dinner at Lulu's. If Lulu was a woman, Jeremy would have left me for her and her wide rice noodles year ago. And Jack loves the dinosaurs they have to play with.

So tomorrow, we rest one more day, and after that, September, it is on.

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